Apple Music has money, and they’re willing to spend it…
Universal-owned Interscope Records has now confirmed that Apple Music has secured another artist exclusive, this time with Chicago rapper Dreezy. The album, titled ‘No Hard Feelings,’ will be available on the streaming platform as of July 15th. Apple Music will enjoy a one-week exclusive before the album becomes more widely available across other streaming services.
‘No Hard Feelings’ will feature 19 tracks, including the song ‘Body’ ft. Jeremiah. That track has already managed to rack up over 18 million YouTube views, ‘Close To You’ ft. T-Pain, and ‘We Gon Ride’ ft. Gucci Mane.
The practice of windowing an album for one week on a particular streaming service is becoming more and more popular, as artists look for new ways to monetize their music. Artists generally opt for Apple Music, as the service offers them a platform that pays a generous per-stream royalty rate. Another critical factor is that the service is paid-only, unlike Spotify, a stance that eliminates low-paying, ad-supported plays.
Drake’s latest album, ‘Views’ was also exclusively released on the platform for one week before being released on other streaming services. The rapper’s global hit, ‘Hotline Bling,’ was also first streamed on Apple Music before becoming more widely available across other streaming platforms.
Others abound: DVSN — an up-and-coming band signed to Drake’s label — was exclusively streamed on the service, and Chance the Rapper released his ‘Coloring Book’ mixtape exclusively on Apple Music. The rest was history, literally: ‘Coloring Book’ became the first album to hit the Billboard 200 chart despite only being available on streaming services.
Apple Music have been opting to secure music exclusives as a way to grow their subscriber base at a faster rate than its competitors. And that strategy has been working so far. Two weeks ago, the service announced hitting 15 million subscribers one year after launch, an average of more than one million users signing up to the service every month.
The streaming exclusive strategy is obviously working for Apple, and has now got Spotify thinking about doing more of the same. In fact, it is thought that Spotify hired Troy Carter at the beginning of this month solely work on creating and maintaining relationships with songwriters, artists and labels. Those relationships could boost the amount of Spotify’s exclusive content.